Innovation on the Edge: How Hackers Turned a Videogame Controller into a Breakthrough Device
Johnny Chung Lee, Interface Technology Researcher
in conversation with Jason Tanz, Senior Editor, WIRED
Johnny Chung Lee
As a researcher in Microsoft's Applied Sciences Group, Johnny Lee was a key contributor to the development of the Xbox Kinect, the company's revolutionary controller-free gaming interface. Launched in November 2010, the Kinect sold 8 million units in its first 60 days, making it the fastest-selling consumer device of all time, according to Guinness World Records.
When Lee joined Microsoft in 2008, he had just completed his PhD in computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he focused on technologies that enhance human-computer interaction. He gained widespread recognition from his demonstrations in YouTube videos and at the TED conference on ways of hacking together advanced interfaces -- like interactive whiteboards and 3D displays -- from off-the-shelf products. In 2008, MIT's Technology Review added Lee to its prestigious "TR35" list of the world's top 35 innovators under the age of 35. In early 2011, he joined Google as a "rapid evaluator."
Jason Tanz is editor at large at WIRED, where he writes frequently for the web and print and helps set the brand’s editorial strategy. He has been at WIRED since 2007; previously he worked at Fortune Small Business, Fortune, and SmartMoney magazines. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, Esquire, and Spin, among many other publications, and he is the author of Other People’s Property: A Shadow History of Hip-Hop in White America. Tanz received a bachelor’s degree from Brown University.